In this Instructable I’ll show you how I built a concrete tea light candle holder step by step. At first sight it may seem complex, but actually it is pretty easy to build.
I found a simple method for casting concrete which works great. To make such shape you only need a thick Styrofoam board and a utility knife.
Watching the video will significantly simplify the process, and I hope it will inspire you to use your creativity and make something wonderful.
- Concrete form: 28 x 13 x 5 cm
- Wooden base: 36 x 14 x 2 cm
- Styrofoam board http://amzn.to/2GhQbbH
- Aluminum pipe http://amzn.to/2p4aMId
- Quikrete http://amzn.to/2GdUYLb
- Spray paint http://amzn.to/2FxjkOy
- Shellac http://amzn.to/2tBbzps
- Protective gloves http://amzn.to/2oVZx5l
- Cabinet bumpers http://amzn.to/2FvB7WA
- Tea lights http://amzn.to/2FsXorZ
- Router http://amzn.to/2Furwz7
- Circular saw http://amzn.to/2FxnLsX
- Cordless drill http://amzn.to/2FqVw3b
- Forstner drill bit http://amzn.to/2FpNZl0
- Utility knife http://amzn.to/2GfjM5a
- Chisel http://amzn.to/2GcW6yw
- Hacksaw http://amzn.to/2tyMjjz
- Sanding block http://amzn.to/2FtUvaw
- Glue gun http://amzn.to/2Gf9thu
Step 1: Making the Styrofoam Mold.
The mold is made out of 5 cm thick Styrofoam board.
First, I drew the shape on a piece of paper, and to be able to follow the drawing, I stuck it onto the Styrofoam with a duct tape. Then, I made all the cuts, making sure to keep the knife straight and close to the line.
Once finished cutting I removed the cut-outs, and got a rectangle with a wavy form in the middle which separates the rectangle into two parts.
Step 2: Making Additional Cuts and Adjustments.
In the middle I wanted to insert aluminum pipes, so to be able to do that I cut the wavy form as well.
With the middle removed from the board I could make three holes with the help of the aluminum pipe. I just rotated the pipe into the foam carefully, until came out from the other side.
I cut the aluminum pipe into three short pieces, and inserted them into the holes.
To make space for the tea light candles I cut three circles out of 1 cm thick Styrofoam and hot glued them in the predetermined places. Inserting toothpicks into each circle is a great way to reinforce the joints.
For the bottom of the mold I used a piece of fiberboard, which I cut with a handsaw.
Step 3: Joining All the Parts of the Mold Together.
Now all the parts are ready to be joined together.
I hot glued the wavy form along with the pipes in place. Here I also used toothpicks as dowels to keep it in place.
Also, I applied hot glue onto the Styrofoam board and stuck it onto the fiberboard bottom. Additionally, I applied a large amount of hot glue from the outside to avoid water leaking.
When gluing Styrofoam, make sure to use a low-temperature hot glue gun to prevent the foam from melting and burning, which happened to me.
Finally, I spread cooking oil over the entire surface with a brush. This will help me remove the mold very easy once the concrete has cured.
Step 4: Mixing Up Some Concrete.
Now I can mix up some concrete. I’m mixing one part cement with one part sand and adding water until I get a nice consistency which is not too thick and not too watery.
So, I can fill the mold with concrete. I’m using my fingers to fill up the pipes, as they need to make a strong connection between the two concrete parts.
Then, I’m releasing the air pockets by vibrating the mold. This means that I’m done with the concrete, so I can leave it to cure for 2 days.
Step 5: Removing the Mold and Sanding the Concrete Surface.
Once the concrete has cured, I can remove the mold. The cooking oil made removing the foam extremely easy.
I took a 220 grit sandpaper and sanded down the surface in order to get rid of the dust, and to make it nice and smooth. Lastly, I wiped the dust off of the surface with a wet rag.
Step 6: Creating the Base Out of Beech Wood.
The wooden base is made out of beech wood. First, I marked all the dimensions.
I’ll place the concrete form in the middle of the base, and for that purpose I need to remove 1 cm of the thickness of the wood.
The easiest way to do that is to use a router. But, the problem here is that I don’t have a plunge router base. So, here’s how I did it:
I clamped some scrap pieces of wood onto the board, which will serve as guides. Then, in the center I drilled 10 mm deep hole using a 15 mm Forstner bit. This way I created a starting point for the router.
Step 7: Cutting the Base to Its Final Size and Sanding.
After that, it was very easy to work with the router. I routed the section out, and after that I chiseled out the corners in order to make right angles.
Now, I can finally cut the base to size. To make the cuts I used the table saw and the crosscut sled. There are so many other ways of making a base, depending on the tools you have.
To sand the surface, I started with 120 grit sandpaper, and moved on to 220 grit until I got smooth finish.
Step 8: Applying Finish Onto the Concrete and the Wood.
To protect and seal the concrete I applied one coat transparent spray paint with satin finish.
Onto the base I applied one coat of transparent finish, which will protect the wood, and will emphasize its natural beauty.
The last thing I need to do is to attach self-adhesive silicone pads on the bottom of the base.
Step 9: And I'm Done!
I can finally place the candle holder in the middle of the base, and add the tea light candles into the holes.
This candle holder came out pretty cool. I really enjoyed the process of creating it.
Tell me what you think about this project in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to watch the video for more details.
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